Chemical Resistant Disposable Gloves: The Recent Developments

Worldwide, there are over 60 million unique registered chemicals with approximately 80,000 of them used often across industries and applications in numerous combinations.1

Chemical Resistant Disposable Gloves

Image Credit: Ansell

Several of these chemicals are hazardous, with accidental exposure leading to adverse reactions varying from minor irritation to the skin to third-degree burns. It has even been noted that some can be absorbed into the bloodstream resulting in irreversible health implications.

Chemical hazards included over multiple occupational environments are carcinogens, mutagens and teratogens. Additionally, several laboratory workers have involvement in creating novel chemical entities for which toxicological testing has not yet been carried out.

There is a requirement for national and workplace safety standards to use suitable hand protection wherever there is risk of contact to hazardous chemicals. For substantial exposure, there are several products from Ansell for selection that guarantee suitable protection. However, Ansell offers thin-film disposable gloves that are favored in a huge amount of applications. This is due to their added comfort, dexterity and tactility that they offer to workers completing fine manual tasks.

Unfortunately, there are no disposable gloves that protect against every chemical or compound. A glove’s protective performance is determined by its unique formulation and thickness (measured in penetration time, permeation rate and degradation rating), and are normally constructed of latex, nitrile, neoprene, or a combination of these materials.

Additionally, its design establishes for which applications it is most suited, for example, wet grip or dry, fine or gross motor skills, etc. Conventionally, workers have had the tough decision between the chemical protection given by a thicker glove or the enhanced dexterity, but lower chemical resistance, given by a thin glove. With countless combinations of chemical hazards and applications, choosing the most suitable disposable glove for the job is frequently a complex task.

Traditional chemical hand protection and a novel, breakthrough solution from Ansell will be evaluated here. This new solution offers advanced protection, performance and value for individuals working among a variety of hazardous chemicals. This is done without forgoing the dexterity and comfort usually lost with thicker glove choices.

Chemical splash-resistant hand protection

Disposable, chemical splash-resistant gloves have a thin-walled design and can provide brilliant fit, comfort, dexterity and grip while withstanding permeation from splashes for a short period. They are usually made of latex, neoprene or nitrile, and deliver a safe, short-term barrier from low-hazard chemicals like methanol, isopropyl alcohol or bleach. They can also be utilized reliably with certain higher-hazard chemicals, like sodium hydroxide or ethidium bromide, which may not permeate gloves quickly but must still be handled with utmost caution.

The unique formulation of each glove lends to its unique reaction with a variety of chemicals. Some glove materials will withstand permeation from specific chemicals for hours, whereas others will experience instant permeation. Similarly, gloves constructed of basically identical material but from different manufacturers will perform in a different way among the same chemicals. All these factors play an extremely important role in the glove selection process.

The attributes of comfort and performance of chemical splash-resistant gloves are particularly valuable in applications like tool handling or laboratory equipment, completing testing, or carrying out cleaning or assembly. This is in addition to anywhere that fine manual tasks are completed, especially when wearing gloves for lengthy periods of time.

However, if exposure to chemicals occurs, the gloves should be discarded immediately and replaced prior to continuation of safe operation. The reason behind this is because splash resistant gloves are intended to offer just a short-term barrier to chemical absorption, and they do not ensure long-term chemical resistance.

A number of users choose to wear two pairs of gloves for additional protection, however the same rule must be followed that both pairs of gloves need to be replaced after exposure with chemicals. In applications with frequent splashes, the use of disposable, chemical splash-resistant gloves can result in a high incidence of daily glove changes and increasing PPE expenses.

Reusable chemical resistant gloves

Highly hazardous chemicals like corrosive or carcinogenic substances are present in many environments, and these are the conditions where reusable chemical resistant gloves are frequently used. With thicker construction, these gloves withstand chemical penetration, permeation and degradation for a longer period when compared to splash resistant gloves.

The use of reusable chemical resistant gloves is essential wherever the exposure risk to dangerous chemicals is high, or where exposure time will be extended or immersive. Such gloves are frequently used in environments like laboratories, when additional protection further than a single-use solution is needed, and in high-hazard chemical production applications where full body protection is needed.

However, their natural bulk impedes fit, grip and tactile sensitivity, leading to workers’ decreased ability to manipulate equipment, in addition to reduced productivity and an increase in the likelihood of spills and accidents. Additionally, ill-fitting gloves have a higher likelihood to be taken off or left unworn because of discomfort of the wearer and the inability to efficiently handle materials. The risks and expenses associated with noncompliance are equally high and can be prevented when the adequate safety equipment is available.

The thinnest, chemical resistant disposable glove

Ansell aimed to design and produce a solution after recognizing the gap between gloves that offer ample protection and optimal function. Ansell’s design offers a high level of chemical protection in addition to remarkable fit, grip and dexterity. The revolutionary new MICROFLEX® 93-260 is the thinnest disposable glove on the market providing brilliant chemical protection against a large variety of chemicals.

Dexterity and tactility due to a thin, soft film

Created from a progressive nitrile and neoprene composite, the MICROFLEX® 93-260 is just 0.19 mm in thickness and offers all the positive effects of a single-use, splash resistant glove: extraordinary comfort, fit, tactile sensitivity, dexterity and grip. These attributes combined give a reduction in hand and forearm muscle fatigue to aid productivity and compliance of workers, and reduce the probability of expensive or hazardous accidents and spills.

Increased chemical protection

The MICROFLEX® 93-260 also offers advanced resistance to many harsh chemicals like hexane and heptane, as shown in Table 1. In fact, the glove offers an exponential increase in resistance to heptane and hexane in comparison to other top category competitors. Additionally, the MICROFLEX® 93-260 achieves EN 374 certification for gloves because it is verified to have a breakthrough time of over 30 minutes when compared to three of twelve chemicals on the list of standard, defined chemicals determined by the European Committee for Standardization (CEN).

Table 1. Source: Ansell

Ansell MICROFLEX® 93-260 Chemical
Permeation Breakthrough Times (minutes)
N Heptane >480
Hexane >480
Methanol 22
Sulphuric acid 96% 49


The gloves provide an industry-leading AQL level of 0.65 for an outstanding level of freedom from holes, delivering further advanced worker protection. In addition, it has an extended, 300 mm beaded cuff used for protection from spillage on the forearm, as seen in Table 2. Enhanced product protection in controlled environments is ensured through silicone-free formulation and processing.

Table 2. Source: Ansell

Ansell MICROFLEX® 93-260 Key Features
Material Nitrile/Neoprene
Tensile Strength Mpa 25
Elongation (%) 690
AQL 0.65
Thickness palm
(single wall) mm


Maximal protection and durability due to a triple layer design

The glove’s unique, triple-layer design consists of a soft inner layer precisely created for the ability of easy donning, double-donning and doffing. It has a flexible middle layer that offers maximum protection against acids and bases, while the durable outer layer guarantees outstanding puncture, abrasion and cut resistance while offering maximum protection against organic solvents.

Additionally, the glove’s proprietary formulation is superior when compared to competing products in elongation and tensile strength, thus delivering the highest levels of both elasticity and durability. The glove’s robust exterior can tolerate more for longer in demanding physical and chemical environments, so the longevity of the glove is extended and value and productivity are improved through less daily glove changes.

Innovative 3 Layer Design* Chemical Resistant Disposable Gloves

Innovative 3 Layer Design*. Image Credit: Ansell

*Patented in the US and patent pending in other jurisdictions.

Perfect for use in a variety of industries and applications

Ansell’s MICROFLEX® 93-260 is a ground-breaking solution for industries and applications where confident, full chemical protection and reliable dexterity are needed. It is perfectly suited for industries that range from aerospace, electronics and automobiles; to chemical, petrochemical and industrial or academic research laboratories.

The MICROFLEX® 93-260 allows workers to have the appropriate protection they need without compromising the comfort and performance they deserve. Workers and employers can benefit from the versatility of supreme performance and advanced chemical resistance offered from one glove, whether they are processing, refining and blending chemicals; completing inspection or maintenance; or painting, degreasing and cleaning.

Microflex 93-260.

MICROFLEX® 93-260. Image Credit: Ansell


In all industries, it is important that individuals are given the optimal level of hand protection for their environment. Now, users do not need to trade the comfort of thin, disposable, chemical splash-resistant gloves for the complete protection of chemical gloves. When choosing a disposable glove, the manufacturer’s chemical safety glove selection guide can be consulted to be certain the product is appropriate for the task.

Ansell’s new MICROFLEX® 93-260 should be considered as an advanced, unique solution that offers advanced chemical resistance in the thinnest design on the market for the best protection, performance and value. By supporting the hand health of workers’ employers directly support overall safety and productivity, unequivocal fundamentals of every company’s success.


  1. Chemical Abstracts Service, A Division of the American Chemical Society, CAS REGISTRY(SM)

About Ansell

For over a century, Ansell has delivered the most advanced protection solutions to millions of people…at work, at home and in harm’s way.

In 1905, Eric Ansell recognized an opportunity when his employer was looking to dispose of some manufacturing equipment. With this discarded machinery, he founded what was to become the Ansell Rubber Company, initially a balloon & condom company that eventually expanded into surgical, household and work gloves.

In the years since, millions of people have come to rely on Ansell’s innovative products and safety solutions to protect them at home or on the job. The same dedication to quality and innovation that started with Eric Ansell, continues today, as Ansell has grown to serve 25 global industries in 120 countries in ways that shape and protect our modern world.

Ansell is SAFETY. We protect the most valuable asset of any company — its people."

Magnus Nicolin, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer



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Last updated: Oct 19, 2020 at 8:39 AM


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